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Wisconsin Rural Electric Cooperative Association / First yearbook, 1938

Introduction: local cooperative histories,   pp. 33-49 PDF (4.3 MB)

Page 38

                    Wisconsin- 16-Douglas
     The region around Superior has been called the principal center of
 Consumer's Cooperation in the United States. So it is wholly consistent
 that they were among the leaders in establishing electric cooperatives.
 George Halonen, Sr., an active leader in the cooperative movement, was
 one of the incorporators of STATEWIDE.
     The original allotment of money was made in June 1936, and the
 group was incorporated as the HEAD OF THE LAKES COOPERATIVE ELECTRIC
 ASSOCIATION on July 12, 1936.
     Active construction began in November, the contract being awarded
 Arft-Killoren Electric Company of Appleton, Wisconsin, who in turn
 engaged the Cooperative Services, Incorporated, of Maple to do the greater
 part of the construction work. This is probably the first instance of an
 electric cooperative having its lines built largely by another cooperative.
     Despite the slowness of winter construction, the project was energized
 on May 24, 1937, at which time a celebration was held at the Worker's
 Hall in Superior. A radio broadcast was arranged and the throwing of
 the relay switch at the hall was broadcast in detail. The switch which
 sent the "juice" flowing through the lines was thrown by H. A.
 the oldest member of the Board of Directors.
     The members assembled at this meeting also approved a twenty-four
 thousand dollar wiring loan from the REA.
     One hundred six miles were energized at this time and by January 275
consumers were connected. The Association has 423 members.
     This fall, the Douglas project was granted an additional loan of
S54,000. Bids were opened on this on December 21, but were rejected.
It is hoped that arrangements can be made to do this work on force account
or else bids will be called for again on summer construction.
     Power for this project is being purchased from the Superior Water,
Light and Power Company.
    The Board of Directors meets regularly the third Wednesdaj of each
month at the Association's office, Room 108, 1314 Tower Avenue, Superior.
    The following men serve on the Board at this time:
           H. G. GROSS, President, South Range
           H. A. JOHNSON, Vice-president, South Range
           LEONARD PLESKI, Secretary, South Range
           GEORGE C. TERRELL, Treasurer, Station B, Superior
           C. B. OLSON, South Range
           ARvm KuVAJA, Wentworth
           P. A. THOMPSON, Patzau
           ED. OssoRNE, Foxboro
    George Halonen, Jr., is Project Manager. He is assisted in the office
by Lois Gronquist, stenographer-bookkeeper. Russell Hendrickson is a
part-time linesman.
    During the construction period, Nelo Lundeen, a cooperator born and
and raised in that area acted as resident engineer representing the Wis-
consin Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
    Generally speaking, cooperation is the keynote of all activities of this
project, even including the construction and engineering of the linfes.
Cooperative education is considered first in all activities on this project
since die success of the entire cooperative movement in the area has been

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